While other publications are gingerly testing the waters of social media distribution, The Washington Post is doing a cannonball into the pool through its partnership with Facebook’s Instant Articles: this week WaPo announced that it is sending all of its stories to Facebook for formatting as Instant Articles, in essence making the publication’s entire output available for perusal via Facebook’s iOS app.
WaPo content available on Instant Articles includes videos and photo galleries as well as text, all formatted to appear native to Facebook. The WaPo Instant Articles offering is launching with Qualcomm as its first advertiser.
In a blog post, WaPo publisher Fred Ryan explained the move to open up WaPo’s full range of content: “We want to reach current and future readers on all platforms, and we aren’t holding anything back. Launching Instant Articles on Facebook enables to give this extremely large audience a faster, more seamless news reading experience.”
WaPo joins a select group of publishers already distributing content via Instant Articles, including Hearst, Gannett, Time Inc., The Daily Mail, Elite Daily, Vox Media, CBS Interactive, Refinery 29, Mashable, and The Huffington Post, among others.
Meanwhile, WaPo is making some other innovative efforts to boost its exposure and recruit new readers. Earlier this month Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who bought the Washington Post two years ago, announced that he is integrating the iconic newspaper with his e-commerce platform’s Prime service, making it widely available to millions of Amazon Prime customers at a discounted rate.
Amazon Prime members can get six months of free access to The Washington Post National Digital Edition as an introductory offer, followed by a regular monthly subscription at a cost of just $3.99, or 60% off the regular subscription cost of $9.99 per month.